Nov 132018
 

Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
by Anne Canadeo

Author Interview

I am super excited to have Anne stop by today!

 

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live on Long Island, in Northport, an old-fashioned looking village on the Long Island Sound. Plum Harbor, in the Black Sheep mysteries, and also, Cape Light in the series I write as Katherine Spencer, are both based on my own hometown. We’ve lived here for about 20 years and before that in Brooklyn.

I grew up on Long Island, but lived in different parts of the country after college and also in the Bahamas. I think moving around and meeting different types of people helped me mature a lot, and also helped me as writer, teaching me that most people share the same hopes and concerns. I’ve been married for almost 30 years to my husband, Spencer and we have one daughter, Kate who is well “launched” and lives in Washington, D.C. We used to have two dogs, but now only have our sweet, funny Lily, a Golden Retriever who is just like Lucy’s Binger’s dog, Tink. I’m a real homebody. I love to cook and work in the garden and I also volunteer a lot in our community, with a winter respite program for the homeless and managing a food program that meets weeks and delivers food to those in need.

  1. What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’m allergic to eggplant, my middle name is Bernadette and at around age 12, I (briefly) played the B-flat tuba.

  1. What is the first book you remember reading?

I recall reading all the Dr. Seuss books early on, but can’t remember one on particular. The first novel I remember taking out of the school library was titled, B is for Betsy, but the story was not memorable. I loved all the books by Beverly Cleary and one of my favorite books of all time is Charlottes Web. It has so much wisdom in it. I had trouble learning how to read in first grade, but once I started I couldn’t stop.

  1. What are you reading now?

I just finished Eleanor Oliphant Is Perfectly Fine.

  1. What made you decide you want to write?

Storytelling came naturally to me. I made up poems and stories before I could write or read, But I didn’t have the confidence or whatever it takes, to jump into writing fiction full time, straight off. I wrote only poetry into my twenties and initially wanted to be a college professor. I went as far as a Master’s Degree in literature, but I was working in publishing while going to graduate school, and I enjoyed editorial work. So I stuck with that instead of going for a Ph. D. I worked at several major houses before jumping to the other side of the desk.

  1. Do you have a special place you like to write?

Absolutely – I have a great little office in our house, and sit surrounded by all my favorite books, and those I’ve written on the shelves, and a lot of encouraging signs, good luck charms and photos. I must write at my own desk, on my own computer and wear earplugs, even though, except for the dog, I’m alone most of the time. But I ponder my work everywhere once I’m in a project, and often get the best ideas and insights when I’m away from my desk — cleaning the house, in the shower, walking the dog etc.

  1. Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I wish I knew! Plots for books grow in mind, like a pot of soup with ingredients being added. Or, like a lot of post-its getting stuck together and somehow, creating a story. Sometimes I notice situations in real life or the news that hold possibilities for a story. Sometimes it’s just an image in my mind, or a character will come to me, and the story grows from their personality and issues in their life.

  1. What books have most inspired you?

Again, that is hard to say. I have a range of favorite authors, such as Jane Austen, Alice Munro, Ann Patchett and for mystery authors, Alexander McCall Smith and Sue Grafton. Discovering a new author that inspires you is always thrilling. I love all of Elizabeth Strout’s work. She’s my newest favorite.

  1. Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

After I work out a concept, I like to write a fairly complete outline. That can be challenging because I really dig down, and think through the scenes and situations that will move the train down the tracks. I will depart and get new ideas when I’m actually writing, but it’s important for me to know how I’m going to get from A to B. That’s the real heavy lifting of the process for me. Also, the very start of a book can be slow, until the writing starts to carry you along.

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

Many elements are important for a story that really draws in a reader – a likable or at least, relatable character with a strong, distinct voice. Well drawn supporting characters throughout, and believable motives that are emotion based. In mysteries, the best motives seem to come from love, jealousy or protecting a loved one. Conflict in the story is extremely important and needs to build, and also, hold surprising twists and complications. The ending needs to be logical and satisfying, too. I always like to show that the main character has experienced some “process,” Meaning they are different in some way at the end of the story, compared to how they started out. Maybe they have had an insight about themselves or the world at large or some important realization, and the reader might, too.

  1. Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

It’s tough to choose and depends on a lot on my mood when I answer. I’ve decided that all the characters I write about are a little like me, or reflect some aspect of my personality. When you write, you’re an actor playing many roles.

  1. Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve always loved mysteries,  starting with Sherlock Holmes. But it took me a while to crack the code on how to put together a mystery plot that would adequately – most of the time—stump a reader.

  1. What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

The series has no single, amateur sleuth. The knitting group solves the mysteries together and the point of view in each story moves around between the members. I think the friendship among the knitting group characters and their amusing conversation makes this series different from a lot of others, too. Most readers say they love just hanging out with the Black Sheep. Each book is like getting together with a great bunch of women friends.

  1. Whats next on the horizon for you.

I have a few projects on the back burner. One is a more serious mystery set in New York City in 1947 and another is a regular novel. And more Black Sheep mysteries, too. I’m presently working on HOUNDS OF THE BASKET STITCH, which will be published in the fall of 2019.

Thank you, Anne, for visiting today!

Now keep reading to learn about her new book, Purls and Poison

About the Book


Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708636
ISBN-13: 978-1496708632
Digital ASIN: B079KT54BW

When a fellow Black Sheep Knitter is suspected of poisoning her coworker, the group puts down their needles and takes up their friend’s defense . . .

Suzanne Cavanaugh has just about had it with her office rival at Prestige Properties. It’s bad enough that Liza Devereaux is constantly needling her at work, but when she shows up at one of Suzanne’s open houses to poach potential buyers, it’s the last straw. No one in the office fails to hear the two snarling at each other.

When Liza is later found dead in her office cubicle—poisoned by a diet shake—Suzanne becomes the prime suspect. It’s soon discovered, though, that Liza had double-crossed so many around town and stashed their dark secrets in her designer handbags that anyone could be the culprit.

The Black Sheep Knitters have no doubt their friend has been framed—but they need to prove it. Stirred to action, they get together to catch a sneaky killer who’s trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes . . .

Praise for Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
by Anne Canadeo

Such a prolific author, such good mysteries! I raced through PURLS AND POISON, not sidetracking to read something else . . . I so admire this strong group friendship, these ladies go all out for each other, sacrificing personal concerns when necessary. Friendship over all!
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

A fun story fit for all ages just like the characters. A knitters delight.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

About The Author

Anne Canadeo is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, and as Katherine Spencer, the Cape Light and Angel Island series. She somehow manages to write a lot,  despite many and much-loved distractions — such as digging up the garden, hanging out with her dog, trying new recipes, drinking copious amounts of mint tea, eating chocolate and volunteer work in the community. She lives in Northport, NY, a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the settings of her stories. Anne loves to hear from readers. Answering their messages is definitely another favorite distraction in her day.

Author Links  

Website  Facebook  Instagram


Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Powell Books

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
November 9 – Ruff Drafts – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
November 11 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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November 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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November 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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November 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 18 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 20 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
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November 21 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT

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Nov 162017
 

Knit to Kill (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series from Kensington
(9th in Series Overall)
Setting – Maine
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496708618
Kindle ASIN: B01N4VZACX

A relaxing girls’ getaway turns deadly for the Black Sheep Knitters when a pushy killer is on the prowl . . .

As their beloved Black Sheep member Lucy Binger prepares to tie the knot, the closely knit group decide they need a weekend to unwind before the big day. Suzanne Cavanaugh has just the spot—her friend Amy lives in a luxury New England community on Osprey Island, renowned for its famous cliff walk and spectacular ocean views, and she would be happy to host the knitters.

Shortly after their arrival, however, the idyllic setting turns into a crime scene. The body of a prominent resident of Osprey Shores is discovered on the rocky coastline below the cliffs and evidence suggests his fatal misstep was no accident.

The well-known victim was not so well liked, it turns out, with many enemies eager to send him into an early—and permanent—retirement. When the investigation focuses on Amy’s husband, the knitters step in to untangle the clues.

But with this crafty killer on the edge, the Black Sheep must walk a fine line—and look before they leap to any deadly conclusions.

About the Author

Anne Canadeo is the bestselling author of more than thirty books, including her popular Black Sheep Knitting Club Mystery series and the Cape Light series, written as Katherine Spencer. She lives in Northport, N.Y. with her husband, daughter, and canine office assistant. Follow her on Facebook.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End November 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

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Mar 022016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday Part 2! 

Yes, I doubled booked myself today! I am excited to have Anne stop by today!

 

AnneCanadeo-Author-Photo13 ½ THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM WRITING THE BLACK SHEEP MYSTERIES

The latest adventure of the Black Sheep, A MURDER IN MOHAIR, is the eighth case the knitting friends have solved and their first double homicide. In the midst of writing the next book, KNIT TO KILL (coming Feb. 2017) I celebrate eight years of creating these escapades for my stitching and sleuthing friends. Here are a few things I’ve learned from the Black Sheep, about crafting mysteries and life in general.

# 1 Go In For A Quick Kill

Mystery readers want a dead body and want it fast. Mystery editors want to see a corpse on the page even faster. I try to meet this deadly deadline ASAP, but sometimes it’s tricky.

MurderinMohairWhile plotting A MURDER IN MOHAIR, I knew the “starring victim” would not be killed off easily. It was necessary to show interaction with the Black Sheep and others in the town. I solved that glitch by opening with the murder of a local businessman, a situation that simmers on a back burner for most of the story. Then connects when the Black Sheep solve the entire puzzle. I also wanted to set the bar higher for the Sheep, who had to connect more dots and more corpses in this one. Good job, Ladies!

As Steven King said, “The story is the boss.” Sometimes, a story demands that the murder victim interacts on screen long enough so that readers care when they hear the chilling news. And so that readers are eyeing a cast of possible victims, wondering who will be picked off. That’s set up is fun, too. Don’t you think?

postman purls twiceIn THE POSTMAN ALWAYS PURLS TWICE, a Hollywood cast and crew come to town and film in Maggie’s knitting shop. My strategy was to pile up menacing events that build to murder. Or two. Many are set up to meet a cruel end, but I chose one of the most engaging in the group, and even I felt sad seeing that character go. I won’t say more. Except that my priority was a lively plot where “bad stuff” keeps happening. And for readers to wonder who will the victim be? And who will be next?

As a mystery fan, I don’t mind if the cadaver is a little late to the party, as long as suspense builds. What do you think?

# 2 The Dead Have Secrets (Which Should Be Juicy and Create Suspects)

Once I’ve killed someone off in an early chapter, I need plenty for the knitters to talk about. Everyone has a public face and a private side. And everyone has secrets. The detectives – amateur and professional – must start peeling back the layers before the body is cold. Which makes for great dialogue among the knitting friends, who live in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Or thinks they do.

Revealing these secrets not only pulls back the curtain on the victim’s private life, but pulls in other characters as well, creating suspicion and motives …which adds up to suspects.

knit purl dieIn the second book of the series, KNIT, PURL, DIE, the Black Sheep lose a dear friend, Gloria Sterling, who they believe to be a woman who has it all – beauty, brains, charm, a successful career and a handsome, younger husband. When she dies under suspicious circumstances – which could have been an accident, a suicide, or murder — a darker side to Gloria’s life and personality is revealed.

Clandestine relationships, secret business deals, money trouble, black mail and betrayals-– this is the high octane fuel of a good mystery. All these secrets are floated out, each trailing motivation for murder like ribbons on helium balloons. This is how a mystery writer creates cognitive dissonance and distraction.

These nasties may be true or false. But the unraveling makes for interesting story telling and colorful dead ends for the Black Sheep to explore. While none may be the actual reason for the murder. A mystery writer’s art is very much akin to magic; you need a lot up your sleeve to distract from the “real plot” and the real culprit. You need two or even three “fake” plots, or possible solutions. An interesting corpse, full of secrets and a colorful history, helps create those dead end paths in the maze.

#3 All You Need Is Love…Or Revenge…Or Most Any Strong Emotion
I find the most compelling mysteries to read and write are emotion driven. The killer has a deeply felt, even passionate drive, to commit the crime – revenge, thwarted love, seeking justice — to name a few. And the amateur detectives are driven by emotion to solve it. I cannot always manage to spin both these plates perfectly, but if I get it even half right, the story has a great chance of succeeding.

In regard to the killer’s emotions and motivation, that aspect is largely hidden, moving through the pages as an undercurrent. It can still be a powerful influence but hopefully, the reader won’t realize how powerful until they look back at the end. I’m a mystery fan who wants to look back and see where the clues were seeded, and feel satisfied that the story “adds up.” Even if I didn’t guess the murder’s identity.

When it comes to the Black Sheep’s passion for solving a crime, it may bubble up from a need to prove someone’s innocence, or find justice for a beloved victim. Those emotions are another way to draw the reader closer to the narrative. Perhaps the victim is well known to the knitters, a good friend, relative, or lover. Or someone from their past. Always fun, since I can add even more emotional baggage. Or, the knitting friends can’t abide watching someone that they believe is innocent take the rap.

while my pretty one knitsIn their first adventure, WHILE MY PRETTY ONE KNITS, the Black Sheep rush to the aid of their fearless leader, Maggie Messina, who is accused of murdering the owner of a rival knitting shop. Of course, I can’t make suspects of the knitting friends in every book. But I can show their drive to solve crimes is based in emotion. This makes their sleuthing more than gossipy fascination with murder, or a clever exercise in deduction. Though there’s a touch of both those spices in the mix.

#3 1/2 A Mystery Story Is A Metaphor
Last but not least, I’ve learned that a mystery plot is always a metaphor for the essential, infinite and unsolvable quest to understand our own identity, our relationships and the complicated, tangled threads of our own life. Perhaps that’s what keeps us returning again and again to this genre…and keeps me, and many others, writing them, too.

But far better minds than mine have tried to crack that nut. I’ll leave this last one for you to ponder and comment on.

~Anne

Thank you Anne for visiting today. This is a new series for me but will definitely add them all to my wish list.

About This Author

Anne Canadeo lives and knits in Northport, New York, with her husband, daughter, and canine office assistant. She is the author of the Black Sheep Knitting mystery series, and writing as Katherine Spencer, she has also authored the popular Cape Light and Angel Island series.

You can find her on Facebook .

A Murder in Mohair
Series: A Black Sheep Knitting Mystery (Book 8)
Publisher: Gallery Books (December 1, 2015)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476767505
E-Book ASIN: B00UDCNI1I
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In Anne Canadeo’s cozy eighth Black Sheep Knitting Mystery, a cold-hearted murder in Plum Harbor leads the knitters to investigate a new psychic who may be far more dangerous than she seems…

When Jimmy Hubbard, the manager of the local cinema, is murdered in a robbery gone wrong, the residents of Plum Harbor are mystified. Everyone liked Jimmy, and the struggling theater seems an unlikely target for burglars.

The Black Sheep Knitters are surprised and saddened by the crime, but are more suspicious of psychic-medium Isabel Waters, who has recently set up shop in town. Isabel has hoodwinked one of their friends into shelling out big money every week to keep the memory of a lost loved one alive. Determined to reveal Isabel as a fraud, the knitters are pulled in the web of Isabel’s world and find themselves in a tangle of secrets and lies. They must solve two murders before the truth about all of Isabel’s clients—past and present—are revealed.

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away 1 signed copy!!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Anne for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 16, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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